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Advise on Bridgeport J Head 1967

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Paul Jr

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Hello everyone, I have read so many helpful things from this site over the years that led me to my first lathe purchase a couple years ago (PM1236)

Right now I'm looking for a knee mill under 84" tall. I found one within 1.5hrs from me. It's a Bridgeport J head 8 speed SN 61006. I looked at it today and I'm still not sure it's worth $2450 the gentleman is asking for it. Pictures hopefully give some indication of wear but I will also try to describe as best I can.

Table travels smoothly from end to end. My indicator mounted to the saddle and touching the side of the table to show Gib free play when unlocked read .005" through most of it's range while pushing and pulling against the ends. Unfortunately the gib adjustment is maxed out but it does appear to be evenly worn through it's range.

Apron gibs are tighter, I didn't check how much adjustment was left but when unlocked I only saw .001" of free play. It moves smoothly until I get about 3.5" from the Mill body, then it gets real stiff. Note the line on ways in pics near body, it has a step that can be felt.

Knee gibs had no play and seemed to move smoothly and evenly throughout it's range.

Quill travel was somewhat smooth until I got to about the last inch or so, it got very stiff and wouldn't go the remaining distance without effort.

**The runout of the inside taper and outer spindle surface both read 0.0035" on my 0.0005" test indicator. Quite excessive. He has a spare head that has .0008 to .001 roughly that he would include to swap out if needed.

I forgot to bring a dowel to test quill play.

Table run out was under .0015"

Table has many surface imperfections but nothing groundbreaking.

** All functions of the machine work except the quill feed adjustment would not let us set it to 6. Something felt like it was blocking it and would need looked at.

Motor is a 1 HP 220V single phase and runs smooth and quiet when the belt is detached.

**The front step pulley has a sizeable chunk missing, while running in higher speed ranged the machine vibrates significantly which this may be the cause.

The rear gear pulley has a crack on the top (not pictured) but may be fine.

The shop that had it first installed grease zerks for all the ways, odd I thought. There is no one shot oil system.

I have no major projects lined up but I do plan to make a cnc router in the near future. A mill would greatly help me get mounting plates etc made to much tighter tolerances, but for the most part I will use as needed.

If may have forgotten something but this is the gist of it. Think it's worth $2450?

I appreciate your time and thank you for any input.

Regards,

Paul


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Cadillac

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I agree to many problems for the money. Did you check operation of power feeds or quill feed under power? The wear looks pretty significant on saddle/knee.
 

FOMOGO

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Have to agree, that one looks pretty clapped out, for that kind of money. Try to be patient, and I'm sure something much nicer will come along.
 

ThinWoodsman

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Even without the wear, it's too much for that machine considering the area. There's no shortage of machines in PA/upstate NY/OH. Maybe worth 1800 if it was in great condition? Sounds like there's not even a vise or any tooling included, so perhaps 1200-1500.
 

Technical Ted

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I'll throw out my 2 cents since I don't live all the far away from you. I'm about 40 miles south of Rochester NY. I had been looking for a BJ mill for a few years, mostly on Craig's List. Many are $3K or more, but are in fairly decent shape, probably with a vise and some tooling and maybe even a DRO.

I got mine for half of that. A 2J vari-speed head, 42" table, vise, collets/tooling/tool holders/drill chucks and even a BP brand 90 degree R8 head. I was happy with this even though the Y axis especially has some wear and the head needed a little work. But, it's fine for my hobby work. I re-furbished the head, put a shim behind the Y axis gib and tore down and cleaned the whole machine since someone had been using grease in the zerts instead of oil. I recently installed a 3 axis DRO on it and a caliper type quill scale. I'm very happy with it and the work it does. My nearly pristine Jet 2/3s BJ clone sits idle most of the time now, but serves as a nice alternate machine to use if I have something setup on the BJ I don't want to tear down. The Jet has very little wear (if any), but I love my BP! :)

Check the Buffalo area Craig's list and keep an eye on it. Also, you are close to Cleveland and I bet you would find even better deals out that way. You can save CL searches and flag them so they will send you an email if a new listing for the search item is posted. This is how you can act quickly on a good deal when it comes up and get the jump on other parties.

Good luck,
Ted
 

projectnut

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It sounds and looks like the machine has had a hard life. If you're looking for a project it might not be a bad one at about half what the seller is asking. Looking at H&W Machine repair the pulley itself will run about $280.00 without shipping. You could easily spend another $1000.00 or more on parts alone to bring it up to working condition. Add to that another 6 months or so of your time and I think you can get something better.

Unfortunately prices have gone up considerably in the last year or so depending on where you are. In our area a couple years ago you could pick up a variable speed model in excellent condition for around $1,800.00. The same machines today have an asking price of nearly double that. If they have tooling and readouts add another $1,000.00 to $1,500.00.

Keep in mind the "asking" price is often not the selling price. There are several that have been sold on eBay for near what the seller of this machine is asking. However we don't know the initial asking price, the tooling included, or the condition of the machine.

Here's a link to H&W Machine Repair. They have a parts and price listing for every part on the Bridgeport mills. These people are tops in their field and their prices are extremely reasonable.

https://www.machinerypartsdepot.com/
 

Paul Jr

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Thanks for all your input. I have been looking for a couple years but seemed to have always missed the deals. I agree, this isn't the machine for me, I told him based on pictures before I looked at it that I could only offer him $1250 to see what he would barter too. Now I definitely would only offer that much. The power feed on table and quill worked fine.

I do live closer to Cleveland than Buffalo, 1.5 hours, and I have been searching using searchtempest.com out 300 miles. I will keep looking, in the meantime if anyone sees something they themselves wont end up buying but is a good deal feel free to contact me.
 

Technical Ted

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Just for a point of reference, here's one not too far from you for comparison... The asking price isn't a heck of a lot more than the one you posted. The cost of tooling will add up quickly and will easily cost you more in the end than the base machine itself. So, included tooling, like shown in this ad, is worth a lot! :) Looks like this one might even have chromed ways!

https://cleveland.craigslist.org/tls/d/pittsburgh-bridgeport-mill/6748459532.html

Ted
 

Paul Jr

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Just for a point of reference, here's one not too far from you for comparison... The asking price isn't a heck of a lot more than the one you posted. The cost of tooling will add up quickly and will easily cost you more in the end than the base machine itself. So, included tooling, like shown in this ad, is worth a lot! :) Looks like this one might even have chromed ways!

https://cleveland.craigslist.org/tls/d/pittsburgh-bridgeport-mill/6748459532.html

Ted
I contacted the gentleman for this post the day after he listed it, I was ready with cash in hand haha. Unfortunately he sold it the day he listed it and he can't figure out how to go in and delete the listing. I was really bummed.
 

Winegrower

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Around here, you need to be ready to commit, no time to post and ask for advice. The good stuff goes fast.
I missed a terrific deal on a Takisawa lathe by thinking about it overnight. :-(
 

Cadillac

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Same by me if it’s a great deal or desired item they usually are gone within minutes to a hour of original post. Theirs also people that make a living out of patrolling CL for deals and flippin them. I’ve found if I like something I will contact the person right away and talk. Usually people are honorable as first interest/call gets first dibs. But you better be ready.
 

bobdog

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Run to many problems. Look at a company called small tools in cleveland ohio
 

Kroll

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Dang that’s a fantastic package
 
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